Nunes Officially Exits Congress, Sticks Fresno County With Potential $1.3M Election Tab - GV Wire - Explore. Explain. Expose
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Nunes Officially Exits Congress, Sticks Fresno County With Potential $1.3M Election Tab



Photo of Rep. Devin Nunes
Rep. Devin Nunes resigned his office on Jan. 1, 2022. Electing a successor will cost Fresno County taxpayers $500K to $1.3M. (AP File)
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Congressman Devin Nunes officially resigned from Congress on Saturday.

In his letter addressed to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, the Tulare Republican said he informed Gov. Gavin Newsom that he was leaving at the end of the day on Saturday.

“It has been the honor of my life to represent the people of California’s San Joaquin Valley for the last 19 years. Please let me know how I can be of help during this transition,” Nunes wrote.

Nunes announced last month he was leaving office to become CEO of former President Donald Trump’s new technology firm. He was first elected to Congress from the Central Valley in 2002.

Governor to Call for Special Election

Now that the resignation is official, Gov. Gavin Newsom has up to 14 days to call for a special election under the “old” 22nd Congressional District electoral lines.

The winner of the special election would remain in office until the end of the term on Jan. 3, 2023.

The election would take place on a Tuesday between 126 and 140 days from when the governor calls for the election. If Newsom calls for the election today, the earliest the special general election could be is May 10 (May 17 and 24 are other options; May 31 is not because it is a day after a state holiday, Memorial Day).

The primary would take place nine weeks prior — March 8, 15, or 22. Filing to run could take place this month.

If the top vote-getter in the primary receives a majority of votes, he or she would be declared the winner and a special general election would not be needed.

The governor has the option to consolidate the special general election with the regular general election on June 7. If that is the case, the primary would be April 5.

The current CD 22 includes parts of Fresno and Tulare counties, including Clovis, north Fresno, Visalia, and Tulare.

The new 22nd Congressional District lines includes parts of Kings, Tulare and Kern counties. Incumbent Congressman David Valadao, R-Hanford, is expected to run in the “new” CD 22. Electors at the June 7 primary will vote using the new lines.

$1.3 Million in Potential Election Costs for Fresno County

Fresno County Clerk James Kus estimates that holding a special general and primary election would cost $1.1 to $1.3 million. The costs would be borne by county txpayers.

“We do not anticipate any state reimbursement for the costs of conducting this special election,” Kus said.

Consolidating the special general election with the regular general election on June 7 could save around $500,000.

Tulare County would also be in the same scenario. About 62% of the registered voters in CD 22 are in Fresno County.

After this story first published, Tulare County Registrar of Voters Michelle Baldwin says a typical election costs “$800,000 or more.”

“We are hoping that the General Special Election will be consolidated with the June 7th Primary Election,” Baldwin said.

Election May Be Sooner

Recent history indicates the governor may not opt for consolidation.

When Assemblyman Ed Chau, D-Monterey Park, resigned, Newsom called for a special election on April 19, with a Feb. 15 primary. The timeline was within Newsom’s ability to consolidate with the June 7 election.

“The state strives to ensure Californians have representation as soon as possible when a special election is called for,” the governor’s office told GV Wire last month.

Newsom appointed Chau as a judge to the Los Angeles County Superior Court.

Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email